How important is tradition?

*[name_m]How[/name_m] important do you think family tradition is when naming?
*[name_f]Do[/name_f] you feel duty-bound to use family names, especially if you are the last hope of it being carried on?
*And if you have more than one important name, how do you decide which to use first?

To be quite honest, I don’t find it important at all. All of my siblings have family names and my sister and I do not. This is coming from someone who does not have kids, but is THE kid who doesn’t have a family name. I like that my parents thought of someone original and not used before in my family, instead of taking a name already used for someone else.

I would have been named after my Aunt [name_f]Maggie[/name_f], but they went last minute for something else. And I’m happy, because my Aunt [name_f]Maggie[/name_f] is what makes the name [name_f]Maggie[/name_f] special. I’m not my aunt, and I don’t want her name. I want my own that I can make special just for me.

I don’t think it’s important and I don’t feel like I have to honour family members, but I want to. I think it’d be nice for them to be clueless about baby’s middle name until the birth and be like “their name is ____” to those it honours and to see their reaction! Kind of like giving back to the times they helped me out and the reasons I want to honour them.

If I had more than one, I think I would pick the names that are closer to me, then work my way down.

For me and my sisters, we all have names to honour someone. My name honours my great grandmother, one of my sister’s names honours my mum’s best friend (she’s 15 now and they’re still best friends which says something!!) and my other sister’s middle name is my mum’s middle name.

I think tradition is great if you actually really like the name/names, but if you’re giving your child a certain name because you feel like you have too, or because it would make someone else happy, then it’s just not worth it.

It is not important to me at all. We don’t use middle names either so would be tricky to get honor names in there anyway. Of all the wonderful names in the world I would find it a bit restrictive to have to select from a few names… And then who do you choose… Unless you have 20 kids, it might get complicated, well, for me anyway. I’m not very traditional though!

When I saw the title of this thread I was going to say “Very!” because in general I believe in tradition, and the old way of the ancestors, et cetera. But when I read that you meant the tradition of naming your child after an ancestor or relation, of course I changed what I was going to say. I’m not from a family where you are expected to name your child in honour of someone else, and although it has been done, we don’t really have a tradition in our family to use certain names at all.

I feel like family names are rather important, for me at least. I have a middle name that is a family name and I love the connection I feel to the person I’m named after. And I want that same feeling for my kids. My mom always said that the middle name area should be reserved for family names.

A few months ago I would have said it was very important. I felt duty bound to use family names. Everyone in the family uses family names. Most of my siblings and cousins have done so. We’ve also all talked about how we wished it was different. Then my youngest sister had her baby recently and didn’t use any family name. There was a sort of collective gasp and then several sighs of relief. It’s like everyone had been waiting for permission and this happened to be the permission we needed.

I’ll probably be the next to have a baby since no one else in the family is TTC right now. I may end up using a family name because I like some of them, but I’m no longer feeling duty-bound to certain names. I’m not going to follow the middle name tradition. If I want to honor someone, I’m going to feel free to switch things up and honor in a round about way.

I would say that tradition no longer feels so stifling, the importance has sort of flown the coop.

  1. I think “how important” family tradition is when naming varies wildly from one family and one person to another.

  2. I don’t know if I feel duty-bound to use family names. Definitely I feel no sense of duty or obligation or expectation to use a family name as a child’s first name. I may feel some sense of duty to put a family name in the middle name spot - I can’t decide if it’s duty or just preference. Probably some of both.

  3. I would either base it on which name is most important and work my way down the list, or else I’d base it on which name worked best with the rest of the child’s name or with the surname or with the child’s siblings’ names.

I don’t have children, but in the cases of my name, my husband’s name, and our siblings’ names, our first names are just names our parents liked and our middle names are family names. I’ve always liked that - that my first name is just mine and that my middle name is also my grandmother’s middle name and also my aunt’s name. My plan/preference if we have children is to give them each a first name that we love, one family middle name, and one semi-weird middle name that we adore but that we wouldn’t subject a child to as their first name (something super unusual, or hard to pronounce or spell, or something, that we love nonetheless).

Also, and I don’t know if this is important, but if I’m ever having a child, I will not, repeat, [name_m]WILL[/name_m] NOT, seriously discuss names with anyone other than my husband. I’d hate to, say, tell my mom I was considering honouring her mother and change my mind later and use something else and have my mom be disappointed.

*[name_m]How[/name_m] important do you think family tradition is when naming?
Yes, I think it is important to carry on family heritage and history. I love that I have a family name (or a variation of a family name)
*[name_f]Do[/name_f] you feel duty-bound to use family names, especially if you are the last hope of it being carried on?
I don’t feel duty-bound. My parents aren’t pushing me to use a family name (at least not yet, when I have kids that might change). It is just a preference for me.
*And if you have more than one important name, how do you decide which to use first?
I use the one I like the best. For example, my grandmother’s name is [name_f]Zoe[/name_f] and my mom is [name_f]Daphne[/name_f]. [name_f]Zoe[/name_f] [name_f]Daphne[/name_f] or [name_f]Daphne[/name_f] [name_f]Zoe[/name_f] sounds weird since they rhyme. I prefer [name_f]Zoe[/name_f], so I’d use [name_f]Zoe[/name_f] first.

Thanks . My partner and I both have family names that go back generations. In the case of my one, neither of my cousins will probably have children and it is my sister’s first name and she doesn’t want to name a child after herself, even in the mn spot. So if I ever have a girl I sorta feel like I should use it as a mn - but it doesn’t flow that well with anything! My partner’s family name has already missed s generation and none of his nieces have it so far… so maybe not as important, especially as he isn’t too fussed about it.


I and 30+ girls like me in my family are named after my grat grandfather. he had a some what unisex name and i love it. but at family partys all the girls go “hi! im helen, nice to meet you!” and that is kinda bothersome… my first girl will have [name_f]Helen[/name_f], helene, helena or some thing like it for a middle name. as the last of my family i feel i “need” to keep the name going if i can. my mother is verry controlling and she is naming my kids b4 they are even made, so i will have to put my foot down and tell here how it is going to be. she is not going to like that there will be no little girl named Gry helen or boys named Marthin Andrè XD family and tradition is important but no so much that i will let here controll our life or the names of our kids. i believe that we all need to finde a balance that we can live with. after all it our kids, not our mothers or grate aunt may´s :wink:

We find it very important. Though we weren’t as strict when naming our children as the generations before us. We used family names as middle names, before that they were always used as first names. I think my family in law would be very disappointed if we didn’t continue the tradition, but I don’t mind that, because I want to continue it myself and so does my husband.
As to which one we used first, that’s also traditio, there’s a certain order that’s always used. So we didn’t really have to think about that.

Most of my kids don’t have family names. (My second daughter has a family name for her first and middle names and my youngest son has a family middle name.). Honestly using family names made things more complicated.

All of my siblings have family names except my youngest sister. All six others I think my parents just ran out of family names they liked. None of my nieces or nephews have family names, nor do I feel any pressure to use any. I know people who are “junior” or “the third” and feel like they need to pass on their name. I think that meaning and sound are more important than tradition. That being said, I think that family names are a nice way to ground a child, to give them something that connects them to the people they have come from. But ultimately, I think that if you give a child a name for a reason, it will do the same thing.